The International School of Denver’s newest academic facility, the Mary Louise Evans Building, recently opened. Designed by Venture Architecture in close collaboration with the school community, the new 40,000-square-foot facility will serve as a hub for the entire ISDenver community, featuring a new learning center as well as a music, art, science and maker’s lab, and a range of faculties – and parent volunteer places.
The new facility in the Lowry neighborhood of Denver is the first step in a long-term campus master plan that began five years ago. Project funding was raised in part through donations, which will ultimately amount to approximately $ 5 million.
“Completing this design for ISDenver was particularly important to our team as we were able to work so closely with teachers and parents, which led to the amazing quality of the space that opened today,” said Martin Goldstein, Director of Venture Architecture. “Your transparency and dedication to the students and their program was incredible. This gave us the clarity we needed to design an architecture that carefully reflects and supports the school’s best vision for its future. “
ISDenver is an integrative, multicultural, multilingual International Baccalaureate World School that offers a research-based approach to dual immersion teaching. The school advertises world-class academics with an immersive culture and community in the heart of Denver. Preschoolers up to 8th grade receive a broad and balanced curriculum in the target languages Chinese, French and Spanish, which is strengthened by a strong English foundation, which is extended to the intermediate level.
Now in its 42nd year, ISDenver saw the need to update its existing infrastructure to reflect the school’s physical and educational growth. They hired Venture’s experienced K-12, Independent School Design Team to help. The aim was to create a building that would serve the entire community, bring people of the same age together from grade levels, create new learning spaces and promote collaboration between the faculties. This can be seen in the variety of interconnected team rooms, from the corridors for collaboration on grade levels to the carefully designed classrooms to the rooms for the professional development of teachers.
To achieve this, the Venture team conducted an extensive discovery process, meeting with teachers and parents in the school in more than thirty open forums to understand how the school uses the current space for teaching and learning, as well as new ones Exploring room designs that might better suit their needs gates.
Through this process, Venture’s design team refined the school’s project-based learning styles and eventually used an age-appropriate approach to educational workplace strategies and adapted research for other design sectors. The resulting academic building brings together a variety of flexible learning spaces that support the school’s project-based teaching, learning and collaboration model.
“Everything we do is to create the best possible environment for our students and teachers, so we knew we had to find just the right architects and designers to help us build a truly student-centered, teacher-designed middle school “Said Bob Carignan, headmaster at ISDenver. “Venture’s deep, collaborative, and committed approach to our community is heavily aligned with our school values. From the start of their engagement, their team focused on learning what is most important to ISDever. The parents and the teaching staff of our school have also taken up the challenge to support this project with their time, their commitment and their donations. The result is that every aspect of our new academic building is fit for purpose, tailored to our community, and designed to serve our learners for decades to come. “
Fransen & Pittman acted as general contractor for this project and Anser Project Management was in charge of project management.
“Fransen & Pittman and Anser Project Management were brought on board and immediately became extremely valuable partners,” added Goldstein. “They were great team-mates right up to the end. Even more than in most projects, this was an incredible team effort and we are all so proud of the result. “
Photos courtesy of Venture Architecture